Ellis Dyson & the Shambles expertly blends old-time influences ranging from early New Orleans jazz to Piedmont murder ballads. The result: foot-stompin’ and eccentric original songs that bring party music of departed eras to crowds both young and old. The Shambles have made waves with their theatrical live shows and dazzling musicianship. The original compositions evoke a bygone era while contributing to the vast tradition of storytelling through songwriting. The group released their 3rd full-length album “Greetings from Shambylvania” in April 2019. The album, deliberately written as a full group, is a series of whimsical vignettes from the fictional town of Shambylvania.
Ellis Dyson & the Shambles have performed hundreds of shows throughout the east coast and midwest and have shared a bill with national acts such as Lake Street Dive, Rebirth Brass Band, Pokey Lafarge, and Mipso, to name a few. The band consists of Ellis Dyson (banjo, vocals), Eli Wittmann (acoustic guitar), Butler Knowles (upright bass), Danny Abrams (soprano/alto/baritone saxophones, clarinet, vocals), and Danny Grewen (trombone, vocals). They came together through a series of fortuitous meetings in Chapel Hill, N.C. Beginning back in 2013 as a saxophone and banjo duo, Ellis Dyson & the Shambles has grown into a freight train string band with a flashy horn section.
Here's what others are saying about Ellis Dyson and the Shambles...
"BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO A BYGONE ERA OF PARTY MUSIC, THE DAPPER DUDES SPLICE HORN-LADEN SWING, RAGTIME, DIXIELAND, JUMP BLUES, AND OLD-TIME INFLUENCES INTO ORIGINAL, WHISKEY-FUELED CONCOCTIONS THAT ARE AT ONCE RAUCOUS, THEATRICAL, AND JOCULAR."
- Spencer Griffith, INDY WEEK
Voted "Best Local Band" by Daily Tar Heel readers and staff in April 2015.
"This folksy, swing-ragtime band from Chapel Hill is making waves for it's high energy performances and groovy dance tunes."
- Daily Tar Heel: Carolina's Finest 2014-2015
"These whiskey-soaked tunes can easily lead to some foot-stompin' hootin' and hollerin' (pardon, that's the eastern North Carolina coming out in me)"
- 88.1 WKNC